Many of us spend the majority of the day in our workplaces, which can inevitably lead to the spread of germs and bacteria. Due to COVID-19, most companies have had to make changes in their workforce. Whether it is an alternating shift schedule or all employees working remote, changes have to be made to keep workers safe.
As we prepare to bring workers back to work, it’s critical that we are mindful of the impacts that this can have. People will be interacting in close spaces, sharing materials and workspaces, and doing their best to get the job done without spreading germs. By taking precautions, companies can protect their employees from getting sick later.
General Recommendations for a Clean Workplace
Consider the same concept as being at the grocery store. We wipe down registers and carts with disinfectants in between use to stop the spread of germs and COVID-19. The same applies now that we are at work. Even though it is the same people in the office every day, each person goes home at night and interacts with other people who could be infected with the virus.
Every workplace should be strongly emphasizing hand washing. Hand sanitizer is a secondary source when hand washing is not available. Keeping hands washed and away from our face will continue to be our best line of defense. To encourage your staff on proper hand hygiene, keep signs in the restroom. The CDC recommends 20 seconds of washing, then dry with a clean paper towel. Also, if you have air dryers in your facility, consider switching to paper towels. Air dryers suck in bacteria and germs from the restroom area and blow it on your hands, making it a possible health risk.
- Gloves are good, but can also spread germs; they are meant to protect our skin and hands if we are touching an infected surface and should be thrown away immediately after use.
- Make sure to check the dwell or contact times on your cleaning products to disinfect for viruses. All disinfectants have instructions on the labels. It is important that you are spraying the surface and keeping it wet long enough to disinfect before you wipe the surface clean.
- If you are having trouble with ordering materials due to high demand, seek alternatives. For example, if you can’t get disinfecting wipes for surfaces, use a spray disinfectant cleaner and wipe with a disposable wiper.
- For cleaning disinfectants chemicals, reference the EPA “N” list of products that are approved for COVID-19.
Disinfecting Recommendations for Office Spaces
Office areas are a hub for germs. It is unavoidable that your staff will utilize shared spaces and have in-person meetings. You may also bring in outsiders for vendor meetings, client meetings, and other relations. In order to keep these spaces safe and from potential germ spreading:
- Keep hand sanitizer on each desk and in all shared work spaces
- Have face masks and gloves available if needed
- Use surface disinfectant wipes for desks, especially if they are shared work areas
- Surfaces should be wiped down after each use: Any touch points, phones (especially shared phones), door handles, desk drawers, shared work center
- Appoint a person to spray common touch points down during the work day
- If it’s possible, limit the amount of shared tools; each person should have their own phone, keyboard, stapler, etc.
- Respect and follow social distancing – 6 feet apart
- If any person is feeling sick or feverish, they should be sent home immediately and their area should be disinfected
Disinfecting Recommendations for Manufacturing & Industrial Spaces
In an industrial center, there’s a lot of action and people interacting to keep the gears turning. This puts workers at risk for spreading germs to each other. If one person gets sick, this could mean that a distribution center has to shut down and production would be halted. This can have big impacts on your bottom line and your customers. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your distribution center safe and clean:
- If your line workers are too close to each other, consider corrugated dividers
- All workers should have masks and gloves
- Include signage to remind people about social distancing (floor signs and break areas)
- Issues with social distancing may require that you space workers out more or even have less workers, which will impact your production; automation can help to fill in the gaps
- Create sanitizing stations with wipes and disinfectant; clean before and after touching equipment
What to expect in the future
As we transition to the next phase of what our workspaces will look like, we encourage you to keep up with your new clean habits. COVID-19 is just one virus that is impacting us now, but these new habits can protect us against other viruses and illnesses in the future.
If you need help with janitorial and disinfectant supply needs, or with reconsidering your warehouse for safer practices, contact Morrisette today to get an in-depth evaluation.